The end of the year is rapidly approaching and, as you expect, the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns have caused catastrophic damage to new car sales in 2020. In the month of November alone there were 27.4% fewer cars registered when compared to November of 2019. This tells us that even though dealerships have adapted to contactless car buying models, the demand still isn’t where it was pre-pandemic and there is still a lot of work to do to ensure the industry recovers to where it needs to be.
We’d argue that Dealers are actually getting a bit desperate. In an effort to boost sales figures for the year, there appears to be a huge amount of pre-registered vehicles being made available at showrooms. More than you would expect when test drives are scarce and a lot of staff are working from home.
A pre-registered car is basically a car which has been registered with the DVLA without having found a buyer. Typically if you buy a brand new car, the vehicle will be registered before collection and given a registration plate - that’s not the case with pre-registered vehicles.
There are a number of reasons a dealer would pre-register a vehicle in their stock. Firstly, if they want to use the vehicle for test driving, the vehicle will need to be given a reg plate and the DVLA will need to be made aware that it is out on the roads. Secondly, to give dealership staff vehicles to get to and from work and complete work errands. Lastly, to artificially boost sales figures. A dealer or manufacturer will be measured against the number of vehicles that they register instead of the number of sales. It’s though that this can better account for fleet buyers and vehicles bought for commercial purposes. Realistically though, we’re seeing a huge number of pre-registered cars hit the ‘nearly-new’ market in an effort to pump the numbers up for 2020. It sounds silly, but its the car buyer who benefits the most, as these cars will typically be less than 6 months old with under 1,000 miles on the clock and they’ll come with a healthy discount when compared to a brand new model.
Have a look around the market and you’ll see what we mean. Right now you can pick a ‘nearly new’ Volkswagen Golf for under £17,000. In fact, there are over 100 models on our used car section with under 100 miles on the clock, all for sale at a fraction of the price compared to brand new.
Elsewhere, high-spec ST-Line models of the Ford Kuga with as little as 5 miles on the clock have slipped under the £20,000 mark thanks to their delivery mileage and ‘out of date’ registration plates.
These deals aren’t just available on models that have been on sale for a while. The brand new 208 from Peugeot only came out this year and there are over 30 examples on our site with less than 100 miles on the clock and they’re available with thousands knocked off the list price.
So, if you’re in the market for a car but you’re not convinced about buying brand new - don’t worry there are more deals to be had than ever before as a byproduct of dealerships pre-registering their vehicles. Why not pick up a bargain to take you through to the New Year? Remember, these cars will all come with a manufacturers warranty and will not need an MOT for the first 3 years, so it makes an awful lot of sense for buyers who want to save money while still buying a low-risk asset that has already taken a percentage of its initial depreciation...